Two women arrested in connection with a September crash in Allen County that left one person dead have been indicted.
Annissa Stanton, 28, of Nashville, has been formally charged by a grand jury with murder, three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, first-degree criminal mischief, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, reckless driving, disregarding a traffic control device, possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle, illegal possession of alcohol in dry territory, operating on a suspended/revoked license, failure to wear seatbelts, speeding and first-degree disorderly conduct.
The charges against Stanton arise from a Sept. 1 crash in which a 2006 Buick driven by Vernon D. Cooper, 78, of Scottsville, was hit by a 2017 Nissan Murano believed to have been driven by Stanton.
Cooper was pronounced dead at The Medical Center in Scottsville.
According to an arrest citation, the Nissan was traveling north on U.S. 31-E and failed to stop at a red light at the intersection of Franklin Road, crossing into the path of Cooper’s vehicle, which was traveling east through the intersection.
A passenger in Stanton’s vehicle, Desiree R. O’Neal, 34, of Hendersonville, Tenn., has been indicted on charges of complicity to second-degree manslaughter and alcohol intoxication in a public place.
Both women were arraigned Tuesday in Allen Circuit Court, where they pleaded not guilty.
The crash was investigated by the Scottsville Police Department.
An arrest citation said that Stanton and O’Neal both appeared impaired at the crash site and exhibited slurred speech and unsteadiness on their feet.
Asked by police at the crash site where she was, O’Neal replied that she was in Madison, Tenn., her arrest citation said.
Police found a bottle of gin in the front driver’s side area of the vehicle Stanton is accused of driving.
At a preliminary hearing held for O’Neal in Allen District Court in September, SPD Off. Tom Suoy testified that O’Neal made statements to a paramedic that she and Stanton had been drinking and using heroin all night prior to traveling.
“Through investigation, it was discovered that the vehicle being operated by Stanton is registered to O’Neal and she allowed Stanton to operate it while knowing Stanton was intoxicated,” O’Neal’s arrest citation said.
Allen County Commonwealth’s Attorney Corey Morgan has filed notice that he will not extend a plea offer to either co-defendant.
O’Neal is being held in Allen County Detention Center under a $30,000 cash bond, and is scheduled to return to court Jan. 3.
Stanton is jailed under a $100,000 cash bond and has a pretrial conference set for Jan. 10.